Net Neutrality Question Marks - by Marcella Gadson

 

 

Last week, the Society of Professional Journalists hosted a discussion on “Why Media Should Care about Net Neutrality,” co-sponsored by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A panel of experts discussed the importance of net neutrality to journalists, how accurately media have covered the issue, and whether the issue is related to the First Amendment or free speech. Among many salient points made, there were two main takeaways: (1) It is imperative for the media to get it right when discussing net neutrality, and (2) The majority of the media don’t get it right. [click to continue…]

The following article originally appeared in The Hill.

FCC Net NeutralityIn the decades-long struggle for civil rights, the movement has focused on different Washington institutions, from Congress to the White House to the Supreme Court.  This summer, part of the battle moved to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The critical question now facing the FCC is how to preserve the open Internet while continuing to expand opportunity and bring the transformative benefits of broadband technology to all Americans, including communities of color.

Today, there are no binding rules requiring the broadband industry to keep the Internet open and free, thus making it critical for the FCC to act quickly.  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should not be able to block, degrade or slow down access to any website or service, or otherwise create “fast lane” sweetheart deals that favor a few at the expense of most.  [click to continue…]

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean.

Commissioners Clyburn and TateIf politics makes strange bedfellows, then Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and I must be a very odd couple.

One black, one white; one Republican, one Democrat. Yet, we forged a unique, bipartisan and loyal friendship in today’s often vitriolic political atmosphere. In fact, our first collaboration began when, as chairs of our respective state public utility commissions, we dealt with rising home energy costs, the explosion of mobile devices, and the convergence of communications and the Internet.

As the Washington action co-chairs for our national association, we were two outspoken Southern women with a heart for the consumer and a strong belief that Washington didn’t have all the answers. We had both experienced the first wave of being professional women in a largely “man’s world;” Mignon in the newspaper business, and me as an attorney. And we would both become presidential appointees to the FCC. [click to continue…]

This month, MMTC Research Director DeVan Hankerson spoke at the National Action Network on “Creating Pathways to Higher Education and Career Service.” With other panelists, DeVan discussed inequality in broadband access in schools and how technology is changing career options, education, and skills preparation for students. We present her remarks in a two-part series highlighting the skills shortage in the U.S. and the dearth of minority students and employees in STEM fields.

Boy on Computer - LEAD CommissionFrom smartphones to social media, people of color are the fastest-growing group of new technology users. Experts have reported that people of color are more likely than whites to use that technology to keep up with what’s happening in their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, how people use technology does not equate to mastery.

One of the challenges to increasing mastery of new technology is making sure that the push toward inclusion and training is not limited to offering schools access to gadgets and tools. It must also include meaningful ways to expand the aspirations of young minority students to include career as technology innovators and as knowledge workers in technology development. [click to continue…]

Prison BarsWASHINGTON, D.C. (October 17, 2014):  The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) applauds today’s FCC decision to expand upon its reforms of the high cost of phone calls for incarcerated individuals.

Last year, MMTC, along with other consumer and civil rights organizations, endorsed the 2003 Wright Petition seeking FCC action to proscribe excessive inmate calling rates. We applauded the Commission then for capping the rates of interstate inmate calling rates, and laud today’s efforts to adopt a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks additional comment on further ways to constrain and ultimately eliminate predatory costs associated with inmate calling services.  [click to continue…]

SNL Kagan 2014 Multichannel SummitJoin SNL Kagan for a full day of networking and interactive panels at this year’s Multichannel Summit in New York! The Multichannel Summit, now in its fifth year, brings together the industry’s top executives to discuss the most compelling topics. Over 20 industry experts and thought leaders will cover topics such as industry M&A, the latest trends in TV Everywhere, and the viewing habits of Millennials.

MMTC members and friends can enjoy a $200 discount for the event by entering the code MMTC2014 on the registration page. [click to continue…]

This month, MMTC Research Director DeVan Hankerson spoke at the National Action Network on “Creating Pathways to Higher Education and Career Service.” With other panelists, DeVan discussed inequality in broadband access in schools and how technology is changing career options, education, and skills preparation for students. We present her adapted remarks in a two-part series highlighting the skills shortage in the U.S. and the dearth of minority students and employees in STEM fields.

STEM EducationI’ll start my remarks with quote from a report jointly published in 2013 by the Computer Research Association and the National Science Foundation: “In the next decade, higher education, military and workplace training and professional development must all transform to exploit the new opportunities of a new era, leveraging emerging technology-based models….”

I am going to frame my remarks around the 21st century economy and what it takes to build a pathway toward career service in specific high tech fields. To begin with, I want to define what STEM is. [click to continue…]

TItle II vs Section 706 Discussion Photo
 
 
On October 14th, MMTC hosted  a panel of telecom experts who discussed “Title II Versus Section 706: Identifying the Regulatory Framework that Furthers the Goals of Broadband Adoption, Competition, and Deployment.”  The main issues that surfaced in the panel were primarily related to: content prioritization, particularly on the part of accommodating edge-provider traffic; broadband deployment and investment in minority communities; and how the open Internet debate contributes to universal broadband adoption and deployment. [click to continue…]

FCC Spectrum Auction Bid

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 10, 2014): The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) applauds the FCC’s release of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Competitive Bidding, which will examine the Designated Entity (DE) Rules.  MMTC anticipates that the Commission will efficiently and expeditiously act to ensure that DEs are able to participate in the upcoming spectrum incentive auction. MMTC looks forward to working with public interest groups, the industry, and the Commission to build a thorough record on DE participation to support the Commission’s release of revised rules in time for DEs to finalize their business plans and raise the necessary capital for participation, as mandated by Congress.  The NPRM will set the foundation to address and eliminate barriers to entry and engagement that stifle meaningful participation of DEs, especially new entrants and minority- and women-owned businesses. [click to continue…]

[Click to enlarge flyer]

MMTC invites you to join us at the Rayburn House Office Building (Room B-369) on Tuesday, October 14th, from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm as a panel of telecom experts discusses “Title II Versus Section 706: Identifying the Regulatory Framework that Furthers the Goals of Broadband Adoption, Competition, and Deployment.”

The current debate on the future of the Internet has led to differences in the appropriate regulatory approach that will foster broadband adoption, competition, and deployment. For some, the reclassification of broadband has been proposed as a solution for advancing these goals, while for others, the current authority granted to the Federal Communications Commission under Section 706 of the Communications Act is sufficient.

Can’t attend in person? Watch live online! [click to continue…]